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Coventry softball team looking for strong offseason

3/7/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — The Coventry High School softball team’s season is scheduled to get under way April 2 against Lake Center Christian School, and head coach Kristen Young said she is “ready and excited” for the first pitch.

“We have an entire team filled with talent, and I look forward to watching every player contribute to a winning season,” she said.

According to Young, this year’s roster is comprised of five seniors (four returning), four juniors (one returning), four sophomores (two returning) and a freshman.

“Even though only half of our team are returning players, I am confident that our new players will fit in perfectly and will contribute to the team,” the coach said. “We started conditioning in November and have really pushed them to get physically fit and strong. The girls did a cross-fit program that targeted towards exercises that would benefit them for softball. We also had a team in the winter league at the Spano Dome to keep improving their skills. Now that practices have started, we are working on improving our mental game and capitalizing on our strengths.”

Last year’s squad finished over .500, but seven players graduated from that team. Young said this year’s team has five seniors ready to step in and provide leadership.

The seniors on this year’s team (with comments on each by the coach) are:

  • Alyssa Angeletti, centerfield: “Alyssa will be a great asset for our team defensively and offensively because of her speed. She will get to many fly balls in the outfield and will be a threat on the bases.”
  • Summer Clark, shortstop: “Summer’s aggressiveness will make her a key player in every game. She has a natural ability to stop balls and throw out players with her strong arm. Offensively, she will lead off for our team and will beat out a lot of throws, while posing as a threat because of her ability to bunt, slap and hit from the left side.”
  • Alex Miller, first base: “Alex will continue to stop balls at first base and will be one of our power hitters that will knock in runs every game. She has really established herself as a positive leader and has become the ‘voice’ of the team on the field. I know she will do great things offensively and defensively for us.”
  • Nikki Zimcosky, infield/outfield: “Nikki is new to the team but has already established her role as a hard-working, positive role model for the underclassmen. She gives 100 percent in everything she does and wants to keep improving. She has speed and can be played in the infield or outfield.”
  • Cree Daniels, pitcher: “Cree is a threat on the mound and at the plate. She is a leader on the team and will be a key player on and off the field. Her influence on the underclassmen is high because of her leadership.”

Young said she likes the way her team’s pitching, led by Daniels, is shaping up.

“Daniels will be strong as ever this season. Her speed, movement and off-speed pitches have improved already from last year. Her mechanics are perfect and she will be a huge asset on the mound. She is a positive leader, and I know she will do great things for our team,” the coach said. “Our sophomore pitcher, Anne Marie Blankenship, will bring a lot of off-speed pitches to throw off hitters. She has lots of control, so [she] should have a low number in walks. We have a freshman pitcher, Katelynn Harrison, who will bring speed and movement. She is young but is a great addition to our pitching staff.”

In addition to pitching, Young said the other strengths of this year’s team will be “defense and speed on offense.”

“Our hitting line-up will be strong, starting with the first batter and going to the last, but this year we will be focusing more on our short game. We have a lot of players who have the opportunity to slap from the left side and have the speed to beat out a lot of throws. We also have a few key power hitters that will be able to knock in some runs and get us a lot of RBIs. As long as we can get runners on base, we should be able to manufacture runs,” she said. “Defensively, we are trying hard to play smart ball and have less physical errors by focusing on the basics.”

This is Young’s third year as the team’s head varsity coach. Varsity assistant Lisa Andrew is in her second year, and the team’s junior varsity coaches are Megan Hutnick and Courtney Hamas.

“The team’s goals for the season are to play smart softball, win every inning, treat every team the same, win districts — we’ve won sectionals the past two years — and continue to have a winning season,” Young stated.

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